Tees

Angela Wrightson: Killer girls bid to extend anonymity

Angela Wrightson
Image caption Angela Wrightson suffered more than 70 separate slash injuries and 54 blunt-force injuries

Two girls who were 13 and 14 when they murdered a vulnerable alcoholic in her own home are taking legal action to remain anonymous into adulthood.

Angela Wrightson, 39, was subjected to a seven-hour attack in her Hartlepool home by the pair in December 2014.

Both girls, who were not named in court because of their age, were jailed for a minimum of 15 years in April 2016.

The High Court is due to consider whether the ban on identifying the killers can be extended indefinitely.

The girls' legal team has already obtained an interim injunction extending their anonymity, although one of them has now turned 18.

Image copyright Cleveland Police
Image caption The two girls returned to Ms Wrightson's home in the early hours of 9 December, where they would continue the attack

The original trial judge, Mr Justice Globe, imposed reporting restrictions preventing the media from identifying the girls, on account of them being under 18 and due to their vulnerability.

The issue will go before the High Court next month, where their legal teams will argue the media's ban on reporting their identities should be extended.

The current interim injunction applies to media reports, and all other internet postings.

Mr Justice Globe halted a first trial at Teesside Crown Court and imposed a ban on reporting the second hearing months later in Leeds after he was alerted to hundreds of social media posts written about the girls.

He later described them as "a blitz of extreme and disturbing comments posted on Facebook by members of the public".

Ms Wrightson, known locally as Alco Angela, was attacked after allowing the girls into her Stephen Street home to drink alcohol.

Image copyright Cleveland Police
Image caption The girls dropped a TV on Angela Wrightson's head

A subsequent inquiry into the case found care home staff could not lock doors to prevent the older girl from running away and it heard that she had a chaotic family life.

The younger girl had been placed in foster care after her parents complained of being unable to cope.

Both girls were known to drink and take drugs.

After the attack, the girls boasted to friends about being given a lift home by police, who were unaware of the murder.

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